“Comfort, comfort my people, says your God. Speak tenderly to Jerusalem, and cry to her that her warfare is ended, that her iniquity is pardoned, that she has received from the Lord’s hand double for all her sins.
A voice cries: ‘In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.’ A voice says, ‘Cry!’ And I said, ‘What shall I cry?’ All flesh is grass, and all its beauty is like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the flower fades when the breath of the Lord blows on it; surely the people are grass. The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever. Go on up to a high mountain, O Zion, herald of good news; lift up your voice with strength, O Jerusalem, herald of good news; lift it up, fear not; say to the cities of Judah, ‘Behold your God!’ Behold, the Lord God comes with might, and his arm rules for him; behold, his reward is with him, and his recompense before him.
He will tend his flock like a shepherd; he will gather the lambs in his arms; he will carry them in his bosom, and gently lead those that are with young.”
Why this scripture encourages me…
HOPE is the theme for the first week in the season of Advent. Pastor Abel at Our Father Lutheran Church preached on the text from Isaiah which was written more than 700 years before the birth of Jesus.
In ancient times when an important king was coming to visit, roads would be repaired in preparation. Ruts would be filled in and stones would be moved to make the way easier. If it was a very important king, a new road would be built to honor him. In the text from Isaiah, he foretells of preparation that goes far beyond this—entire valleys are lifted up and mountains are made low! This is no ordinary king that is coming. It is a king far greater than any earthly king or emperor. Isaiah is foretelling the arrival of the King of Kings—God himself is coming!
We all desire a king who will usher in a good time, one who will protect us. God is both a mighty warrior and a tender shepherd! All powerful, yet carrying us in his bosom. In Jesus we are not just pardoned, we are WELCOMED into God’s family. Jesus is why we have hope!